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UK Paper Driving Licence Abolished, What It Means For You!

The UK paper counterpart driving licence is to be abolished from 8 June 2015. Here’s what you need to know about the driving licence changes

The UK paper counterpart driving licence is to be scrapped on June 8 2015 but there remains confusion surrounding its upcoming departure.

The paper driving licence will no longer be issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) so when you renew or change your address on your licence after June 8th, only a new photocard will be sent back.

But motoring organisations are warning drivers about the problems the end of the paper licence could cause to hiring a car abroad or test driving potential new buys.

Post paper licence car hire problems

Currently, the green section of paper is required mainly for hiring cars but it will no longer be valid from June 8th. Instead, anyone wanting to hire a car while traveling abroad will need a special code to show endorsable convictions like speeding.

To get a code, drivers will need to log on to the DVLA website but be warned, the code you’re given will only valid for 72 hours. If you want to hire a car more than three days into a trip, you’ll need to generate a new code while abroad. If you don’t have access to internet, the DVLA will make a phone number available.

The counterpart removal is part of a major “red tape” abolition policy by Government motoring agencies with many facets moving online, saving an estimated £8 million. MyLicence – a joint venture between the DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) – has been launched allowing drivers to check their details online.

Insurance companies will also be able to check drivers’ licences using MyLicence in a move that’s designed to cut down on fraud. It’s hoped the move will stop drivers making false statements when taking out car insurance, particularly regarding motoring convictions which could invalidate a policy. Insurers would require the licence number and permission from the holder before they could get the data, though.

So, how will the scrapping of the paper driving licence affect you? We’ve compiled this handy guide to answer some frequently asked questions.

Can I get rid of my paper driving licence?

When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart, you should destroy yours but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence. If you’ve only got a paper driving licence (that’s licences issued before 1998) you need to keep hold of it. These will remain vaild and shouldn’t be destroyed.

From 8 June 2015, penalty points will no longer be recorded on paper licences and the information will be held on the DVLA’s digital driver record. You’ll be able to check this online, by phone or by post.

How will I change my Driving licence address?

You’ll still be able to use the counterpart driving licence to change your address with the DVLA. Although, you can also change your address online. If you’ve only got a paper driving licence, the next time you make any alterations to your address or renew it, you’ll only be issued with a photocard.

How will police and the courts record endorsements?

The police can access this information electronically at the roadside via the Police National Computer so the paper licence doesn’t add anything extra. All endorsement notifications will be recorded electronically after any court proceedings and are detailed on the driver record held by DVLA.

What about hiring a car?

The DVLA is developing a new digital enquiry service that will allow organisations and businesses – such as employers and car hire companies – to view information they can currently see on the driving licence counterpart.

These new services are designed for those who have a business need for real-time access to the information, and may not wish to call the DVLA or be in a position to use an intermediary.

Driving licence information via these services will only be made available to those who have a right to see it, and with the knowledge of the driving licence holder.

If you’re hiring abroad, you’ll need to generate a code that lasts for 72 hours. This’ll show offences, like speeding, when you hand it over to the hire company.

What about driving licences for test drives?

Dealers are warning the scrapping of the counterpart could make even the simplest test-drive a administrative nightmare. Insurers will expect dealers to carry out one of the available additional checks that replace the paper counterpart, some new, some existing. These options include a premium rate phone line and the View My Licence or Share My Licence portals.

Dealers believe the imminent changes to these checks could significantly hamper a proportion of the 10,000 plus courtesy loan and test drives undertaken across the UK every day. It could also affect dealers’ processes, creating additional costs, inefficiency and frustrated customers, if not handled well.

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